Weekly Menu:

Happy 4th Of July!!!! This week is all about preparing for a weekend of family, picnics and FIREWORKS! Lots of grilling and picnic food!

Big fun in my book. How do you celebrate our beloved countries birthday?

Steamed Shrimp and Clams
Corn On The Cob
Caprese Salad

Recipe: Caprese Salad
This salad reminds me of summer and picking the little grape and pear tomatoes right off  the vine. Yummy! I love caprese salad so much though, I eat it year round. Click HERE  for this summery recipe. Look for it in Monday's menu.

Tuesday: Slow Cooker Day
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken With Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Slow Cooker Carrots

Recipe: A Chicken In Every Pot
Such an easy comfort food recipe! It smells wonderful when it is cooking. Very basic, but good!
1 whole chicken, rinsed, dried, salted and peppered
1 bag of ready to eat carrots
1 onion, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chicken stock plus 2 TBS chicken bullion.
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chicken stock

Put chicken in a slow cooker. Add onion and carrots around chicken.  Add chicken stock and bullion. Cook on low for 8 hours or until chicken is falling off the bone.

Remove chicken, onion and carrots- cover to keep warm.

Put flour in a large jar. Add stock, put lid on and shake to make a slurry. Add to liquid in slow cooker and stir. Cook on hight for 30 minutes until thickened. If desired put chicken and veggies back in the slow cooker to warm up.

Hamburgers On The Grill
Baked Beans
Wedge Salad

Recipe: StoneGable Hamburgers
1 lb 85% ground beef (no lower fat content)
1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
3 TBS water
3 TBS Worchestershire Sauce (or more... we like lots!)
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch of salt

Put ground beef in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and GENTLY mix. Do not smoosh or your hamburger will be tough. GENTLY form into hamburgers. We love large hamburgers so I usually double the recipe. Girll until done to your liking. DO NOT press hamburger down with spatula! We want all those wonderful juices to stay IN the hamburger. So yummy!

Recipe: Wedge Salad
A real throw-back recipe. Delicious! And the very best part of this recipe is the bleu cheese dressing! Scrumtious! Click HERE for the wedge salad recipe under Monday's offering.

Salmon Pinwheels
Baked Potato
Steamed Spinach With Garlic Oil

Recipe: Garlic Oil
I am so excited... I feel like I am giving away a family secret. Garlic Oil is ALWAYS in my frig. It has so many uses! I can't sing it's praises enough. Once you make it and try it, you will have it in your frig too!
Click HERE and look under Wednesday for this culinary gold!

Taco Salad
Refried Beans

 This is one of those, "It is not rocket science" recipes. Add and subtract what YOU like!
1 large can refried beans
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (not from a bag- the good stuff makes a huge difference)
1 large head iceburg lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
1 lb ground beef, 94 % lean
2 packets of taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 small can of mexican corn, drained
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can black olives, drained and chopped
1 small can jalapeno peppers (optional, I don't use them)
1 bottle good Ranch dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
chopped green onions
4-6 large flour tortillas
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Invert large heat proof ramakins or soup bowls and put on large rimmed sheet pan. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Spray foil and tortilla with cooking spray. Put tortilla over bowl and put in oven. Cook for 5 minutes. Take sheet pan out of oven and take tortilla bowls off the ramakins. Set bowl right side up and put back into the oven on a sheet pan for 2-3 minutes to brown. If the side wants to collapse, ball up aluminum foil and support. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
*Fried tortilla bowls are much better, but they are full of fat!

Put refried beans in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 3 minutes, covered, until hot.

In a sautee pan, brown taco meat and add 1 packet of taco seasonings. Cook according to packet directions.

In a small bowl put 1/2 bottle of Ranch dressing 1/3 packet of taco seasoning and 1/2 cup salsa. Mix well.

Assembly: Add a layer of refried beans to the bottom of a tortilla bowl. Fill 2/3 full of iceburg lettuce. Add 1/2- 2/3 cups taco meat Add corn, tomatoes, black olives, cheese, salsa and jalapeno peppers to taste. Put a large dollop of Taco Ranch dressing and sour cream on the top. Sprinkly with chopped green onions if desired.

Saturday: Family Picnic
Steaks On The Grill
Grilled Veggies
Potatoe Salad
Sweet Pickled Beet, Apple and Carrot Salad
Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Recipe: Grilled Veggies
This is a WONDERFUL recipe! My family devours these tasty veggies. The garden zucchini's are ready so they will go from the garden to the table in no time! Click HERE for this recipe under Saturday's menu. The marinade is so fantastic on steaks, chicken or as a salad dressing. This is a SG favorite!

Recipe: Sweet Pickled Beet, Apple and Carrot Salad
This is a fresh, go with almost everything salad. So easy to throw together and super good for you!
Click HERE and find this yummy side dish on Monday's menu

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches:
These decedent treats must be made ahead and frozen so they are firm enough to eat. Delicious!!!!
Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
Slightly Softened Vanilla Ice Cream
Sprinkles or Mini Chocolate Chips

Make or buy chocolate chip cookies. I use the old tried and true Tolehouse Cookie Recipe. When cookies are cooled, put a scoop of vanilla ice cream (or a favorite flavor, like coffee) on a cookie and put another cookie on top of the ice cream. Squeeze cookies gently to push the ice cream to the ends of the cookies.

On a salad plate, pour out sprinkles or mini chocolate chips. Roll ice cream edge in candy. Wrap in freezer wrap or plastic wrap and freeze until hard. These are great treats to keep on hand!

Recipe: StoneGable Potato Salad
This is my grandmother's recipe. The secret ingredient is pickle juice!And please use baking potatoes. Regular new potatoes are too full of water content and get mushy. I don't have amounts and measures, however these are close estimates. I just learned by watching and make this from memory. Start with these amounts and see how they are. You may need to tweek the mayo sauce to potato ratio. It is well worth the try.  This seems like a pretty basic recipe, but don't pass it up. This recipe is my most requested picnic food. I usually triple this recipe. People love it!

5 lbs russet or BAKING potaotes, boiled  whole in jackets, cooled
1 large jar garlic dill pickles (I use Claussen's)
1 large onion, diced finely
3-4 ribs celery, diced finely
1/2 cup shredded carrots
6 hard boiled eggs, diced finely
3 cups mayo
2 TBS mustard
salt and pepper

Remove skins from baking potatoes and dice into large bowl. As you dice the potatoes, splash them with the pickle juice to keep them from browning. Toss the potatoes as you dice. Keep splashing them with pickle juice. Use about 1/4- 1/3 cup.

Put mayo in a bowl ( I use a large wide mouthed ball jar and shake). Add 1/3 cup pickle juice and mustard. This is just a guesstimate. You might need more pickle juice. Mix or shake well. It should be the consistancy of thick cream.
Add mayo to potatoes and coat.Don't be stingy with the mayo. If it doesn't coat it and some to spare~ make more.  Add onions, celery and eggs and mix. Salt and pepper to taste.
This is better if made the day in advance for all the flavors to marry. When you make this invite me over!

Sunday: Picnic For Two
Grilled Steak, Roasted Red Peppper & Bleu Baguette Sandwiches
Greek Pasta Salad
Tortilla Crisps And Salsa
Mixed Fruit Pie In A Jar
Recipe StoneGable Greek Pasta Salad
I use the same ingredients as my tortelini salad but  use 3 kinds of pasta (your choice) and 2/3 cups parmesan cheese.
Click HERE  and find recipe under Saturday's menu.

Recipe: Tortilla Crisps
4 large tortillas
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tortilla into 8 wedges. Brush lightly with olive oil and salt. Put tortilla wedges of a rimmed baking sheet. Cook in a single layer for 12-15 minutes, until  golden browned and crisp. Cool and keep in airtight container.

Recipe: Fruit Pie In A Jar
See Tomorrow's Post!

I am participating in Marvelous Menu's at Ask Ms Recipe.